We all want to make wise decisions for our business, but it can cause a lot of anxiety. You may stress out wondering if this is the best thing or if something else might work better. You may doubt yourself and lose confidence, which then leads to a half-hearted effort to move forward with your decision – and your business suffers in the process.
Surely, there must be a better way to make decisions for your business. Right?
Follow these tips to make smart business decisions that you can feel good about:
1. Learn more about your company. Without knowing every aspect of your business, you could be unaware of important information that could make a difference.
- Make a point of speaking to both your customers and employees to find out important information.
- Avoid relying solely on business reports. Yes, keep a close eye on the finances, but remember that the morale of your employees can make a big difference in your bottom line too. Both of these will help push you in the right direction.
2. Focus on your goals. Consider both your short and long-term goals. Sometimes, what feels good in the short-term could have a negative long-term impact, and vice versa.
- For example, in a financial crunch, you may let employees go that are critical for the success of your company. If your level of service suffers too much, you may lose enough customers to be able to recover. Short term: helps your bottom line. Long-term: the company may fail.
- Here’s another scenario: Should you spend money on marketing when money is tight? Short-term: you have to spend money. Long-term: You gain enough customers to add to your profits for years to come.
- So, it’s important to keep your long-term goals in mind as well as what can help you in the immediate future.
3. Understand what the challenges really are. It’s tough to resolve challenges when you don’t clarify the issue.
- For example, perhaps profits are down, but what’s the real cause? Is it because your widget costs too much, so few are buying? Or is it because there’s a design flaw that causes it not to work? Clarifying the real issue will help you make a smart decision.
4. Avoid allowing your emotions to make your decision. It’s important to remain calm and level-headed. If you feel very emotional, walk away temporarily and make the decision when you can respond wisely instead of just reacting based on how you feel at the moment.
5. Set a deadline to make a decision. In most cases, any decision is better than none at all. Gather pertinent information and then make your best decision based on those facts by your deadline.
6. Consider your values. Your values and principles are important, so keep them in mind when making a decision.
- For each option, ask yourself if it supports your values. Will you be able to live with the consequences of choosing that option?
7. Take advice from others. Even though you may be the boss, it’s important to consider other people’s viewpoints, especially if the decision will affect them. Your colleagues may offer a different option or insight that you may not have thought of.
- Your local business support group may also be of help in making your decision. Other members of the group may have faced the same situation before and could offer some sage advice.
8. Relax. Sometimes a short 10-minute break is all you need to feel better and come at the issue with a fresh perspective.
9. Have other options. You don’t have to only have a plan A when it comes to business decisions. It is always good to have a plan B, or even a plan C. If one plan doesn’t work out as well as you had hoped, having multiple plans will allow you to go right into a new one without delay.
10. Learn from your mistakes. We all make mistakes. It’s just part of business. If you learn from these mistakes, you’ll be able to adapt wisely for the future.
- Look back at whatever decision you wish to analyze. What was the outcome? How would you change things if you had to make the same decision again?
Put these tips into practice at your company and enjoy your newfound confidence in your smart business decisions.